This cool shot shows Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey generating Kopp-Etchell’s effect in the dust

A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is depicted with seemingly solid rotor disks.

The image in this post shows a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey assigned to Special Purpose MAGTF – CR – CC during a TRAP (tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel) drill at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, on Nov. 16, 2015.

What makes the shot particularly interesting (and vaguely Star Wars-like…) is the halo effect caused by the sand hitting the blades and eroding their metal surface. The effect is more visible around the blades’ tips where the peripheral speed is higher.

Caused by the oxidation of eroded particles, the so-called “Kopp-Etchells effect” (named by war correspondent Michael Yon after Cpl. Benjamin Kopp, and Cpl. Joseph Etchells, two fallen American and British soldiers) makes the tilt-rotor aircraft more visible from distance, hence more vulnerable.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps. H/T @DCDude1776 for the heads-up

About David Cenciotti 3665 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.